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Why Russell was in hospital

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

6 and a half years ago Russell had a kidney transplant. He was diagnosed with kidney failure when he was 11, and his health was managed by his doctors until a suitable match could be found. His kidney doner was his mother. He luckily never had to have dyalisis because they were able to perform the transplant before his kidneys completely failed. He now has 3 kidneys because they don't take the other ones out, they just put the new one around the front, just above his pelvis. If he is having a skinny day it pokes out. I stopped noticing it years ago, but sometimes it will be really visable and I will give it a poke and say hello.

Because of the transplant Russell is on anti rejection medications, which means he is immunosuppressed and he gets sick very easily. Usually the sickness can be managed at home, but sometimes his body just can't fight a virus or infection on its own. This is what happened yesterday.

Russell woke up with really low blood pressure, which made him lightheaded. He promptly threw up and groaned at me that he wanted to go to the hospital. We got there and went straight to the ward, which annoyed the nurses, but I didn't care. Last time we went to the ER he left with chicken pox, so I just took him straight to the ward. Better safe than sorry, and when we got home we found out that there had been cases of the measles reported at the hospital. Once he was admitted they took a tonne of bloods and swabs and gave him IV fluids, and antivirals once they worked out that it was a virus. Then he just slept for 2 days. I was able to bring him home this afternoon.

This used to happen fairly often but it hasn't happened for a while. So I was completely unprepared. I ate breakfast at the hospital, and pickings were slim. Then I went to the funeral (Russ was sleeping anyways) and the options there weren't fantastic either. Dinner was from the cafe again and I emotionally ate 2 cupcakes.

So, long story short, he is fine and will be OK. He has the rest of the week off work, and then it is holidays, so he will have a long time to rest. Lucky him, I spent my 2 days off in a hospital running around after him. Ah well, nothing to be done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLA-216 7/13/2011 9:17AM

    So glad Russell is okay now. I imagine it is a bit stressful when he becomes sick. You're a good gal to take care of him so well...I hope he appreciates you. :)

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LOVESLIFE48 7/13/2011 9:05AM

    So glad to hear he is ok!! Hugs to you and your family! emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 7/13/2011 7:39AM

    Glad he is ok. Praying for him. Scary ordeal.


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MRS.PRINCIPAL 7/13/2011 6:14AM

    Hope he does better. Sounds like a scary ordeal for the time, glad the doctors figured it all out quickly.

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Whew, busy week + what to wear to a funeral?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Work has been full on, and when I haven't been working I have been with my friend, so I haven't been on here much.

Thanks for the comments on my status about the passing of my best friends grandad. He was 91 and went peacefully in his sleep, but it was still a shock. My best friend was raised by her grandparents, so emotionally she has lost a father. The funeral is tomorrow, and I am going. My second funeral ever, and my first in 10 years. It is open casket as well, and I am not sure how I'm going to handle that. Luckily it is being held on my day off so I can be there for my friend.

Like I said, work has been full on. Stepped off the plane and into full time employment. I'm on a part time contract. Good times.

I got back on the healthy eating wagon today. Yep, it was time, and it felt good. Exercise on Wednesday (I won't have time tomorrow. Visiting my grandad and then the funeral).

Went to the dentist tonight. I have 11 cavities and it is going to cost $2200 to fix. Russell has 5 and it will be $800. I can kiss my USA and CA holiday goodbye, since that money was going to be spent on our airfare. My wonderful mother said her and my dad might be able to help out, since she knows we don't have that kind of money lying around. Moral: Go to the denist, and don't leave it 6 years!

Mum and Russell are both sick. I think I should put myself in a plastic bubble so I don't catch it. I don't have time to get sick!

And lastly, I have a serious request. Can someone tell me what on earth I wear to a funeral. Last time I went to one I was 12 and my mum told me what to wear, so I seriously have no idea. I don't want to be disrespectful or anything. Black? Black pants and a nice top? A dress (bearing in mind I would have to shave my legs, which is something I'm not keen for)? Something I'm not thinking of? HELP!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUFFPASTRY 7/13/2011 1:43AM

    Oh my gosh, that's a lot of stress. So sorry that you came back from relaxation to be socked with the absolute OPPOSITE of relaxation. 12 fillings!!!! Holy carp!! Do you brush your teeth with sugar every morning, woman? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Anyway, I hope the dental drama gets worked out somehow -- I have a tooth that has to get a crown, and I've put it off for well over a year now because I don't have the $800 it's going to cost. I just sort of send it good energy and hope it doesn't crack any further.

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CARLA-216 7/11/2011 3:16PM

    So sorry about your friend's grandad.
Also sorry for the expense of the dentist. Grrr!

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SONYALATRECE 7/11/2011 10:42AM

    You & your best friend have my sympathy. Try to continue to workout as much as possible to keep stress away. With a new job & high dentist bill as well, you have so much going on.

A black pants set or dress is appropriate for the funeral.
(I heard red is inappropriate- not sure why though)

Make payment arrangments with your dentist. As long as your credit is up to par, you should be okay.

You have my blessings!

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SLIMMERKIWI 7/11/2011 7:46AM

    Wear whatever you feel comfortable in to the funeral, so long as it is clean and respectable.

Some dentists allow you to pay them off. When my son was 16 he had to have some major work done - a hole drilled into his upper jaw and a tooth dragged along and replanted in a new hole, and then braces. For 2 years he had frequent ongoing visits to adjust the braces and check on the tooth. It cost over $3,000 all up (14 years ago) and hubby and I were (and still are) on the bones of our arse. The Dentist was MORE than happy for us to pay it off, and he didn't charge any interest either. It took us 3 years, and NEVER ONCE did he put a "PLEASE PAY" on the account. I made a huge 12" square carrot cake with cream cheese icing as a thank you when I made our final payment!

Kris xx

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QUADCMOM 7/11/2011 7:36AM

    You have a lot going on. For funerals I wear a black pantsuit. As for the dentist. A few years ago I had to have a lot of work done. My dentist worked with me over a span of a year. She made a plan to fix the worst things first then a few weeks later fixed some more and so on. That way I wasn't out a large amount of money all at once. Now I go for my checkup every six months like I am supposed to.

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 7/11/2011 7:18AM

    Sorry for your friend's loss. A nice pair of black pants and dressy top is fine for a funeral. (at least here in the states.)

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Jet lag and stress

Friday, July 08, 2011

Thanks for the sweet comments on my blogs guys!

Yesterday I was so jet lagged that I could barely finish a sentence. My boss was asking me questions and I had to tell him to ask me later, because I just wasn't following! I got an all natural jet lag pill from the chemist, which helped, but not as much as a good nights sleep!!!

So, I am working heaps over the next month. Waaaaaay more than I usually like. I will manage, but it is looking like it will be a looooooooooong 4 months until graduation!

Things are stressful in the bubble household. I am working everyday until Tuesday. My mum, who is still recovering from her operation, is being run ragged looking after my grandpa (dad's dad) with a broken knee. He is so demanding, and just expects us all to drop everything to run him around to his errands. He just doesn't understand that we all work fulltime. When my mum said that she couldn't come around until Saturday to take him to the barber/bank/drycleaner etc he said "Oh, Jess and Russell don't do much, send one of them". Frustrating, since I work 5 days a week at the moment and Russell works 6. Obviously if it was an emergency, or he needed food we would be round to help, but it is just stuff he WANTS to do. We would be more happy to help if he was at all grateful. And now grandad (mums dad) is sick and mums family are on her case for not helping more! Its not like she has time! She wants to help with her dad, but grandpa has no one else and is very demanding, grandad has another daughter who can help him. And I just feel useless because I work all day and they are both settled for the night by the time I could go and see them.

Sigh. Not much I can do, but just wanted to vent!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLA-216 7/8/2011 2:46PM

    Jet lag is the pits! I hope you've recovered by now.

It does sound stressful with working so much and having grandpa and grandad needing help. You've got uni too, so don't feel useless that you're not able to help out much.

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Back from Raro - Part 2

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

OK, so part 1 didn't break my computer. This is good news! Are we all still interested? Are we all having a good time? Are we all jeleous? :D

Day Three:

Day Three was Sunday. Let me tell you about Sundays in the Cook Islands. Nothing is open. The resorts are, obviously, and a few corner stores are (and a few places run by expat kiwis!) but other than that the island is closed for the day. So we had to make our own fun!

We biked around the inner road of the island. In Raro there are 2 main roads, the main road, which follows the ocean, and the back road which has been used for nearly 1000 years. The back road is very different from the main road. It is 1 lane most of the way, and you are plunged into rainforest. It is mainly used by locals, and that is where a lot of their houses are located. Because it is so old there are a few historical sites, a few Pa's and Maraes scattered around.

We went back to Muri for lunch.

The place we went to is run by an exkiwi, and a friend of my workmate. She got a shipping container, painted it, added a stove and running water and runs the islands best sandwich shop from it.

Only when you are on holiday is it OK to eat a sandwich so big it needs to be held together with a skewer. Freshly caught tuna with salad and lime mayo on fresh turkish bread. I want one right now!

Then we pottered back to the resort, stopping for a few photos

OK, this is morbid, but hear me out as to why this is on here. There are random graves scattered all over. And not just in cemetaries either. Most houses will have a couple of graves out the front by the road. In the Cook Islands land cannot be sold or purchased, only leased for up to 60 years. So, when a family member died they get buried in the front yard, because that land will always belong to the family anyways. Some of the graves are very old and run down, and some are nicer than the houses!

We went to dinner at the pizza place at the end of our resorts driveway. It was cheap, which is good because it was awful! The pizza tasted like cheese on cardboard. Yucky!

Day Four:

Our last day in Raro. We got up early because I was visiting a school. Turns out they had completely forgotten I was coming. Never to mind, because in true Rarotongan hospitality the principal showed me around anyway! The school was tiny, only 76 kids in 5 classrooms. They spoke Cook Islands Maori until 8 years old, so I was a bit lost in the younger classes. The youngest class sung me a song and a rhyme they had been learning, which was so adorable I could hardly stand it. The older class, who spoke English, let me have a chat with them about who I was and why I was there visiting them. They all seemed very keen for me to live in the Cook Islands and be a teacher there! Can't say I would hate it....

We went for a ride up to Wigmores Waterfall. It was underwhelming. And so we interupted a drug deal or something, so we snapped a few pics and took off. The waterfall was down a road that had been all but abandoned, and there were empty buildings. It was a bit creepy, if I'm honest!

The next part is my favourite part of the whole trip!

At Muri, there are 3 islands about 100 metres off from shore. They are covered with trees and are very sheltered, and for $10 you can get a water taxi (read small motorboat) to take you to an island. For as long as you want. So we did that. And for an hour we had our own island and lagoon all to ourselves, and it was wonderful. It was so calm and warm because the sea winds were blocked by the trees. After an hour a boatload of tourists came along (the boat tours stop off on the island for lunch and a lesson on husking coconuts). But for that hour we felt like celebs, on our own little island!

View of Raro from the island

Time on the island

With much protest we headed back to the resort. We spent the rest of the afternoon chillin' at the resort, reading our books and soaking up as much sun as we could.

We went out to dinner one last time, and headed back to the resort. We got some sleep because our flight didn't leave until 1am. We packed up, went to the airport and flew home. Arrived at 3am NZ time to 6C and rain. Sigh. We'll go back, and I recommend everyone goes if they can. It was an amazing trip and one I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, except maybe a different credit card balance!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLA-216 7/6/2011 7:37AM

    Oh my goodness, I love the whole little island for yourselves! It is so totally beautiful there.

The bit about the graves is interesting, and it does make sense why they do it that way there.

I'd have been freaked out to happen upon a drug deal! Yikes!

And how neat that you visited a school.

So glad you had a wonderful time!

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ILOVEROSES 7/6/2011 7:07AM

    I am glad you two had such a great time but it's a bit far from Melbourne to go to Raro for just 4 days - long weekend.
In a couple of weeks we leave home for 12 weeks travelling to Scotland, Poland, London, New York, Toronto, Chicago, Seattle, Salt Lake City, touring National Parks of US and then Las Vegas and San Francisco.
In New York, Chicago and Las Vegas I'll be meeting a few of my Spark Friends! emoticon emoticon

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PUFFPASTRY 7/6/2011 2:29AM

    Wow! So, I have tons of questions, but I'll try not to destroy the lovely memory of your vacay with socio-anthropological inquiries...I mean, that's what Google is for. :) I love that you visited a school, though, and that you got your own island for an hour....I wonder how you spent that time, NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK...there are some things one doesn't share even in a Spark People blog, and that is probably juuuuust fine.
Okay, but really: what was going on that you thought might be a drug deal, and what drugs would Rarotongans be doing??? I don't think Google is going to be able to provide me with that information. emoticon

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Back from Raro (with pics!!!!)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Kia Orana! I am back from the beautiful and amazing Rarotonga. We had the best time and 4 days wasn't long enough. We packed a lot of swimming, snorkling, eating, sightseeing, poolside lounging and sleeping into the 4 days. I will warn you now, this is long and picture full. I may need 2 installments.

Day One:

We were only there 10 minutes before we got lei'd

We headed back to the hotel and got some much needed sleep! The flights into Raro are at very odd hours. We got in at midnight, and left at 1am. Madness, I tell you!

Woke up and chilled outside our room while Russell got ready. We had a garden room with a nice view. The ocean was only 50m away and I could hear it loud and clear every morning!

We ate our breakfast and went for a walk around the resort while we waited for the bus to take us to town.

In town we picked up our ride for the 4 days.

We both got our Cook Islands drivers licences so we could both drive it. I thought
Russell would be the main driver but he HATED it and I ended up driving 75% of the time. I loved driving it and didn't mind at all.
Helments are optional in Raro, and while we got them we didn't use them.

Naughty, we know. Its kinda like how in Singapore you don't have to wear a seatbelt in the backseat of a car. You know you still should, but while in Rome... (Or Raro, or Singapore for that matter)

We biked around the island, with a destination in mind: Muri Beach. The pictures don't do it justice. This is without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The water is clear and bright, the sun was shining. Magical.

We headed back to the room and changed for the beach. The resort we were at was on a snorkling beach with heaps of coral reef and different tropical fish. It was amazing!

Post snorkling cocktail by the beach.

The island is pretty small and we were only 5K from town so we headed out for dinner. We had an amazing seafood platter, which is a must if you are on a tropical island!

Day Two:

I'll be honest. We did next to nothing on day two. We got up early and went to the markets and did some shopping, but it was a wildly overpriced tourist trap. I got a necklace and a bracelet, and Russell got a shirt. I was also not feeling too good (lack of sleep and water) so we headed back to the resort where we spent most of the day in our room asleep. We napped on and off for about 5 hours, only getting up to have lunch. We needed that rest! In the afternoon I moved my napping to under a palm tree.

That evening we were booked in at the resort for their cultural night. This included a buffet dinner and a show. The food was OK, and the show was good. They had overbooked though, and tried to sit us at a table with 2 other people. As nice as I'm sure they were I was there to spend time with my boyfriend, not strangers. I complained to the manager (we should have been told upon booking that we would be required to sit with other people, which was my main issue. Also, I get 4 days this year of undivided time with my boyfriend. You bet I'm gonna get selfish about it!) who set us up a small table at the back, but allowed us to move near the front for the show.

The sexy men

The cutie pie kids group

The dress I loved, but the photo I hate. I was slouching to fit under Russell's arm (he is only 2 inches taller) I look odd.

Stay tuned for days three and four!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBSHAZZER 7/13/2011 9:31AM

    OMG, what a beautiful place! And you look fabulous!

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CARLA-216 7/6/2011 7:27AM

    Oooh, looks and sounds like a fab time! I can't wait to read part 2!

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 7/6/2011 7:10AM

    Sounds like you had a great trip! Beautiful photos!

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ILOVEROSES 7/6/2011 6:57AM

    Your first 2 days sound perfect! emoticon emoticon

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PUFFPASTRY 7/6/2011 2:16AM

    It's really fun to read about your trip, as I know very few people who've gone on tropical vacations! I'm moving on to part 2...yay....

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